Architecture Lovers: Explore Rome’s Neo-Byzantine Church


The Chiesa Santa Maria Addolorata is Rome’s finest example of neo-Byzantine architecture, and its spiritual history is equally important.

For visitors who enjoy admiring magnificent architecture, this is the perfect stop! The Chiesa Santa Maria Addolorata church has high ceilings, a high tower and beautiful artwork inside. The colors and architecture will draw visitors in, but the amazing things that await them inside will have them searching for hours.

Where is the Chiesa Santa Maria Addolorata Church

This church is located in Rome in Piazza Bueno Aires. The church is an unmissable sight on Viale Regina Margherita 81, with the two floors leaning over Rome and the beautiful works of art overlooking the city. There is a bus stop with the 63 bus line stopping here which is a great access point for tourists.


What to expect when visiting Chiesa Santa Maria Addolorata

When visitors walk up to the church, they will see that it is a two-story building with ancient Christian architecture. The campanile is seven stories high and was built at the same time as the church. The exterior is covered in religious artwork, including a depiction of the Lamb and four evangelists. These impress visitors immediately when they start walking because of the vivid colors and amazing details.

Stepping inside is like stepping into a large hall. There are works of art everywhere inside, even the floor is covered in artistic geometric patterns. There is a large mosaic in the apse and small statues on the altars. The altar is covered with Baldacchino supported by granite columns and decorated with onyx. There is a white marble altar ring that separates the nave from where the choir sits. The church is so beautifully covered in color and stone that it impresses everyone who enters.


Time and cost of visiting the church

With this church so large and full of art and history, it takes a while for visitors to pass through. There are also regularly scheduled masses, so visitors should decide whether to visit around these masses or go to mass to experience it in a completely different church.

  • Time: 7am-8pm daily
  • Cost: Free

The church is free to walk through, but visitors should be aware of when they are crossing the church and ensure they do not interrupt any services in progress. Most tourists recommend having at least 2-3 hours to wander around the church and admire the artwork, not including extra time for festivities or services that visitors may also want to attend.


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History of the Chiesa Santa Maria Addolorata Church

With an older church comes a lot of rich history. The church was founded in 1910 by the Argentinian priest Msgr. Jose Gallardo. The building was built with donations from families in the area. The construction of the church lasted 20 years, and it was inaugurated in 1930.

Although there was some delay in construction due to the First World War, in 1915 the future building was declared the National Church of Argentina. In 1924 mass could be celebrated in the building although it was unfinished. When completed, the church was once served by the Mercedarian Fathers until 1989, when it began to be served by Argentine diocesan clergy from a nearby community house.


Work inside the church

When visitors ascend and enter the church, the first things that catch their eye are the architecture and artwork. The architecture is impressive, but the artwork is what sets the building apart. There are several religious representations in and on the building, such as:

  • Mosaic of Our Lady of Sorrows
  • Representation of four palm trees, symbolizing paradise
  • Statue of Our Lady of Luján
  • Statue of Blessed José Gabriel Brochero
  • Symbols of four evangelists

These are just some of the works of art found around and in the church. There’s a lot more that people might not even consider art, like the tiles on the floor that were made to represent Argentina’s coat of arms. The artwork inside the church will keep visitors busy for hours.


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Feasts and Masses

The church has mass every day of the week, at least twice a day. This is something important for visitors to know, as they need to plan mass or choose a time to go when mass is. Some of the times the lump occurs include:

  • Weekdays: 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 7:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.

On the first Sunday of each month, Mass is celebrated in Spanish. But it also takes place on other days, very irregularly. There are also special holidays celebrated by the church on some days of the year. These festivals include:

  • Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows: September 15 and February 15
  • Our Lady of Luján: May 8

These festivals are annual and visitors should plan these festivals accordingly, whether to participate or go at different times of the festivals.

For tourists who want a beautiful place to walk around for a few hours, this is the place! Visitors will be greeted by colorful works of art and stunning statues. The stonework and ornate decorations will amaze anyone who walks through these doors, and the stunning architecture is awe-inspiring to those who lay eyes on this unforgettable destination!

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